As we have remembered those who have given their lives in war for our country this month, we also grieve for the horrendous loss of life in the Palestinian territories and Israel, and I have called for an urgent humanitarian pauses and renewed energy in finding a just two state solution for a secure Israel and a prosperous Palestine. In the run-up to remembrance, it was an honour to see the brilliant work of our local Sea Cadets at TS Lionel Preston in Dunstable and to attend our local Royal Naval Association Trafalgar night dinner in Tilsworth.
I attended an important health meeting at Astral Park last month on the outline business case for the new health facilities in Leighton Buzzard. Dr Henderson told us he has already employed 20 new primary care staff across the town, but there are important issues to get right about access to and parking at the new facilities. Priory Gardens surgery in Dunstable continues to show how training your own staff and supporting them well is a great way to hire and retain effectively.
It was fantastic to visit the upgraded Leighton Buzzard, Central Bedfordshire College campus in Chartmoor Road with a great new engineering and business apprentice offer and upgraded equipment. There is no need to travel out of the town anymore to get first-rate skills training.
I continue to hold Bedfordshire Police to account on their response to dangerous illegal motorcyclists, illegal behaviour at car meets and shoplifting. It is important that shops work cooperatively with the police to tackle this issue. I am also meeting with the Crown Prosecution Service locally to make sure the police get the support they need to tackle criminals.
I have been contacting a number of retail chief executives to try to get new tenants for our Wilko stores, as this is really important to maintain footfall for neighbouring businesses. I continue to try to find more space for local artists to exhibit in Leighton Buzzard and I’m grateful for an interim offer to help out from Cedars Upper School.
I was so impressed by the work of Freddie and Friends community café at Pages Park for families with additional needs, and I’m trying to support them further. It was also a real pleasure to meet the inspirational junior leadership team students at Priory Academy last week.
Our new wind turbine at Checkley Wood is jointly, the most powerful in the UK and starts generating shortly. I also saw the amazing work Open Reach are doing providing gigabit enabled fibre broadband across our area. The ground breaking for the 3G pitches at Tithe Farm also means Houghton Regis will soon have some of the best sports pitches in the area.